Welcome to

Introduction to Dzogchen

A Wisdom Academy Online Course with B. Alan Wallace

Topic Progress:

We turn to Düdjom Lingpa’s text, The Foolish Dharma of an Idiot Clothed in Mud and Feathers. Follow along in the PDF available for download or in the excerpt below.


In that very instant I awoke from the dense slumber of the mind into the buddhafield of Akaniṣṭha, the absolute space of phenomena, free of extremes.
My own pristine awareness arose as the dharmakāya teacher, the great, immutable, all-pervasive lord;
the creative power of self-emergent primordial consciousness manifested as a display of myriad disciples;
and its own inner glow appeared as the great expanse of the spontaneously actualized Great Perfection. How amazing!

To those whose minds are utterly dedicated to the one path traveled by all the jinas, who know they have arrived at a crossroads, but due to their blindness to the view, cannot see with certainty where to go, I guess this is a bit of what I, an old man who knows the way, would tell them.

Some brilliant scholars disparage the Dharma and individuals, and with skill in ridicule abandon the Dharma and commit root downfalls. With the full ripening of that karma, they are vaulted into the depths of the ocean of saṃsāra. In the eyes of such experts, if even the teachings of the jinas are not appealing, there’s no need to speak of others’ teachings. If I err in the eyes of others who are endowed with the eye of wisdom and proper conduct, I confess and disclose all the breaches of conduct, vices, and downfalls committed in all my lifetimes. May they be purified and cleansed, and may I please be granted the supreme siddhi in this very lifetime!

While I have sat at the feet of sublime human teachers and spiritual mentors and drunk the ambrosia of their teachings, I have not become an authority. Nevertheless, on occasion this fool has engaged in stupid meditations that I have fabricated myself. On the basis of illusory visions in dreams, in which others have granted me pointing-out instructions, I have engaged in investigation and analysis and tried very hard to practice. However, since I have not encountered a guru to lead me on the path, I have developed a growing sense of high self-esteem, pride, and arrogance. That is my experience, and I have proudly taken it to be realization and have confidence in it. Since I definitely lack even the slightest excellent qualities of unmistaken primordial consciousness stemming from an authentic view and meditation, I have behaved as in the well-known aphorism, “While the marmot seems to be practicing meditation, it is actually just hibernating.” I am candidly revealing my own faults, without hiding anything, so please look upon me with compassion! However, if I express the offering of my heart’s blood while at least not violating the teachings of my sublime gurus, then what else is there to do but write?

In my opinion, if you don’t submit your own snout to the hook and rope of self-centeredness, but rather aspire for the hereafter by thinking of definitely reaping a harvest for all future lives, free of deception, then if you don’t do something meaningful in this present, precious human rebirth with its leisure and opportunity, it will be difficult to obtain such an opportunity repeatedly in the future. This occasion—of circumstances aligning and finding freedom—is no more than a dream, so if you pointlessly squander it, when you lose such freedom what will you do? Carefully reflect on this and know your own situation for yourself. This is the first point.